Holly Storm, freshman
You have just broken up with your significant other and feel like you could die from a broken heart. Even though it sounds silly to say you could die of a broken heart there is actually a chance you could. Broken heart syndrome is a stress-cardiomyopathy which means the heart muscle is abnormal that can be misdiagnosed as a heart attack. And even though these two things are similar in some aspects, Broken Heart Syndrome actually is very different from a normal heart attack.
In Broken Heart Syndrome, your body reacts to a sudden increase of stress hormones and a part of your heart will enlarge and start pumping badly while the rest of your heart will be functioning fine. Even though the effects of Broken Heart Syndrome can be very severe and threatening like short-term heart failure, the good news is that more than likely you can be back to normal within a week or two. Some things to look out for when experiencing Broken Heart Syndrome are severe chest pain, shortness of breath, and irregular heartbeats. The reason that Broken Heart Syndrome is not the same as a heart attack is for several clear reasons. Heart attacks are a result of plaque building up in the arteries over long periods of time which then puts pressure on the junctions of the arteries. So heart attacks are the result of a poor health whereas to experience Broken Heart Syndrome, you do not need to be in bad health. It can happen in healthy people, even though what happens during the attacks are very different.
So when you are extremely upset over something such as a breakup or a death, do not push aside what is happening to you, as that could become life threatening. Though it sounds ridiculous to say that you experienced Broken Heart Syndrome, it is something that should be taken seriously and your heart will thank you.
Is Broken Heart Syndrome Real? (n.d.). Retrieved February 17, 2016, from http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/Cardiomyopathy/Is-Broken-Heart-Syndrome-Real_UCM_448547_Article.jsp#.VsTaADY0tlI